School strips alumnus actor’s PhD over plagiarismen in Dec

The Beijing Film Academy (BFA) revoked alumnus actor Zhai Tianlin’s doctorate following an investigation into allegations of plagiarism in one of his published papers.

Zhai’s PhD adviser, Chen Yi, was disqualified from teaching doctoral candidates. Both Zhai and Chen accepted the school’s dec

ision and further investigations will continue, according to a notice BFA posted on its Sina Weibo account Tuesday afternoon.

Zhai, 32, graduated from BFA with a doctorate last summer. But 40 percent of the paper mentioned above wa

s revealed to be plagiarized after his admission into a post-doctoral position at Peking University drew netizens’ attention.

Zhai appeared ignorant of the cnki.net, a famous Chinese database of academic literature, in a live broadcast in August 2018.

Portions of his paper were based on Zhai’s acting experience, but some key expressions were the views of other aca

demics, which were not properly cited. This is a serious academic misconduct, the BFA notice said.

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bundant mallow harvest a boon for impoverished Iraqis

With rain spreading across Iraq, mallow growing in the northern and eastern parts of the country gives impoverished people food to eat or sell for extra money.

Mallow, or Malva pusilla, is a cosmopolitan weed found principally in temperate regions of the w

orld. It is a fast-growing annual or perennial herb with the capacity to grow in dense patc

hes in gardens, yards, roadsides, waste ground, orchards, pastures and agricultural fields.

It grows without any assistance and easily harvested and so is often called the “food of the poor.”

It is also delicious and good for one’s health.

Thanks to the heavy rain in Iraq, this year mallow spread and were found for collectors to harvest in winter, without any help from farmers.

Some of poor families are able to collect mallow plants and sell them due to its medical value, as it is used to treat some sicknesses and to strengthen immunity.

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The Chinese economy is in transition, but China’s financial

system hasn’t turned around yet. This is why private enterprises are facing difficulty in financing recently.

Small- and medium-sized enterprises have been squeezed out of the formal financing market, pushing up interest rates on informal financing.

Interest rate liberalization is crucial for the financial system to support the private eco

nomy, which will increase interest rates on formal financing and lower rates on informal financing.

It is necessary to regulate the informal financial sector, but not eliminate it. Shadow b

anking and fintech sectors do pose certain risks, but they are the meaningful products of financial liberalization.

Wang Yiming, deputy director of the Development Research Center of the State Council

We are still a developing country, with capital stock and per capita stock much lower than

in developed countries. So there is nothing wrong with stabilizing investment, which should be not seen as a sin.

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According to the guideline, such new-generation hig

in information, biology, advanced manufacturing and new materials will grow into core industries in the area. Several key projects in f

ifth-generation (5G) networks, genetic testing, intelligent robotics, 3D printing and the BeiDou navigation system will be cultivated.

Whether the Greater Bay Area can become an international technology and innovation hub is the key

to the area’s success, according to a research report recently issued by the China Silk Road iValley Research Institute.

The region boasts the most complete manufacturing industry chain and has world-class technol

ogy talent from prestigious universities. Moreover, the favorable location offers convenience an

d benefits to enhance technological and innovation exchanges and cooperation with countries and regions al

ong the routes of the Belt and Road Initiative and other major countries in the world, said the research report.

By comparing the Greater Bay Area with the New York bay area and San Fran

cisco Bay Area in the US, Liang Haiming, chairman of the institute, told the Global T

imes on Monday that balancing the interests of traditional and emerging industries, and helping multiple

industries share the work while cooperating are two things that could be learned from the two US bay areas.

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Financial Times said that the UK National Cyber Security Centre

had determined that there are ways to limit the risks of using Huawei in future 5G ultra-fast networks, citing officials familiar with the matter.

Such a decision dealt “a serious blow to US efforts to persuade allies to ban the Chinese supplier from high-speed telecommunications systems,” the report said.

One person familiar with the debate said the British conclusion would “carry great weight” with European leaders, since the UK

has access to sensitive US intelligence through its membership in the Five Eyes intelligence sharing network, the FT reported.

Zhang said that the UK had been concerned about the risks of usi

ng Huawei because of warnings from the US. But Huawei products are inexpensive a

nd qualified that they could not refuse, which was why they proposed schemes to test Huawei equipment.

Zhang hailed the system and the UK’s conclusion as “significantly pragmatic, and will set an example for other European countries.”

Cui Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies at the China Institute of Interna

tional Studies, told the Global Times on Monday that it was not in European countries’ interests to blin

dly follow the US, which was confusing security with the market to crack down on Huawei.

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But Myanmar still has some obstacles to deal with in order

attract foreign capital. The first is instability in the job market and relatively low labor efficiency. Particularly, the recent years have seen an increasing number of strikes and the failure of the g

overnment to ease industrial relations conflicts with effective measures has crippled investor confidence in the country. Some foreign ent

erprises even withdrew from Myanmar and shifted to neighboring countries, denting the image of the nation.

Second, Myanmar’s backward infrastructure may deter potential investors. A small nu

mber of power generation facilities and fragmented grids cannot ensure stable and sufficient po

wer supply. Access to electricity is limited to only 26 percent of the population, impeding Myanmar’s economic development.

Third, some Myanmese are prejudiced against foreign investment. Worrying that Myanmar’s eco

nomic and social interests may be impaired, they turned their backs on foreign investment. Demonstrators r

allied in Kachin State to demand the government permanently halt the Myitsone dam project, without giving any constructive suggestion on the fo

llow-up arrangements. It’s fair to say some movements against foreign-invested projects, driven by nationalism an

d so-called environmental concern, are of no help in improving the country’s investment environment, and have hijacked economic development. Re

specting the spirit of the contract is a basic requirement for modern states and their people. Myanmar State Councilor Aun

g San Suu Kyi recently said an administration shouldn’t terminate foreign-invested projects approved by its predecessor.

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competitiveness of domestic industries. Widened market access

and lowered entry thresholds don’t necessarily mean foreign investment will be subject to no, or even relaxed rules and regulation

s. Like in other developed markets, a proper review and supervision will still be in place to monitor the development of the relevant industries.

For instance, in the US, while there is no such limit on foreign equity ownership, the government can

still conduct a review of major foreign transactions and investments in such industries as power generation, telecommunications, shi

pping, banking and media through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), in the name of national security.

Of course, China will be unlikely to set up such a review body like the CFIUS, but

in the context of its accelerated opening-up, it is making its own preparations.

In January, a draft foreign investment law was submitted to the Standing Committee of the N

ational People’s Congress, China’s legislature, for its second review. The fast-tracked review n

ot only reflects China’s eagerness to make legislative preparation for the increased opening-up, but also indicates its

strong determination to open further up to the world and to level the ‘playing fields’ for foreign and domestic companies.

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Folorunsho Amsat, a journalist, told Xinhua one of the

 of the polls postponement is that it would cause many voters to be depressed and the country might record a low turnout of electorates when the election eventually holds.

“The momentum is dying. I hope it’s not dead in one week,” he said.

According to the electoral chief, shifting the polls was “a difficult decision for the Commission to take.”

For more than seven hours, the electoral chief and the 12 nation

al commissioners of the INEC were in a closed-door meeting on Friday night.

The elections were supposed to hold at 119,973 polling units across the country while collation of res

ults was to take place in 8,809 registration areas or wards, 774 local government areas in 36 states and the capital Abuja.

Sources had hinted a possible postponement of the election due to logistic challenges in some parts of the country.

The official News Agency of Nigeria, citing official sources in the north-central state of Niger

had reported that ballot papers for two of the state’s three senatorial districts were missing as of Friday evening.

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Forcing one to drink can’t be a test of friendshipA friend of

Lunar New Year’s day in hospital this year, because he was urged to drink Kweichow Moutai, the famous Chinese liquor. After recklessly guzzli

ng almost half liter, he went into a coma due to alcohol poisoning and ended up in the emergency room. My poor friend missed the entire Spring Festival.

For many foreigners, such an incident may be beyond imagination, and include a shock factor. Why do some Chinese pe

ople always force others to drink? How is drinking linked to sincerity and good faith? Well, welcome to the Chinese drinking culture.

As an old saying goes, “In wine there is truth.” Some Chinese people tend to believ

e that under the influence, people may reveal their true beliefs and feelings which would not be expressed when they are sober.

As a result, when people are urging their friends to drink, they may say: “If you don’t drink up, you are not m

y true friend!” It sounds they could only be honest and open to each other when they are dead-drunk.

In another type of situation, people who hold more power force their subordinates to drink. They would say: “Dr

ink this up, and then I will promise you your promotion.” It is more like forced persuasion or even a threat. In

China, urging people to drink is like a “game of thrones.” The domineering would force others to drink up so as to show off their

power, while the pliable tend to yield. They use empty bottles to tell the strong: “See, I keep drinking and don’t care sacrificing my health for you.”

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Moreover, the number of Chinese who go abroad is closely

residents’ disposable income levels and income growth. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that in 2017, the per ca

pita disposable income of the high-income group reached 64,934 yuan ($9,604.71). For most of the residents in the high-inco

me group, overseas tours remain as a kind of luxury spending, thus the per capita disposable income for residents that traveled abroad

should be raised to at least 120,000 yuan a year. Yet this group probably numbers less than 100 mil

lion residents. In other words, the number of people who can afford the average cost of going abroad is theoretically less than 100 million.

Although many research institutions are optimistic about the development pr

ospects for Chinese people’s overseas tourism, the growth rate of private outbound trip

s was only 5.7 percent in 2017, compared to 22 percent in 2010 and 10.6 percent in 2015, showing a do

wnward trend. This may actually reflect the decline in the growth rate of disposable income.

I don’t agree with the so-called “consumption downgrade,” as the Engel coefficient – the propor

tion of money spent on food in household expenses – fell to 28.4 in 2018. Yet, the slowdown in consumption growth, increased leverage r

atio in home purchases and other factors have all impeded the pace of the consumption upgrade.

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